Efforts to assist HIV and AIDS affected children fall short

HIV-positive mother and child, Namibia

Over 16 million children, the majority in Africa, have lost one or both parents to AIDS, according to the UN's Children's Fund (UNICEF).

These children face enormous challenges from discrimination and marginalization, to bearing the burden of caring for their sick relatives.

UNICEF is urging countries and donors to invest in national social protection programmes that address the special needs of HIV-affected families.

Jimmy Kolker is Chief of the HIV/AIDS Programme Division at UNICEF which has co-sponsored a meeting to bolster support for these children.

"The goal of the meeting is to be sure that the issues that have been raised about care and support for AIDS affected families, in particular those who were orphaned or made vulnerable because of AIDS are still on the global agenda. Some of those commitments are keeping parent and children living with HIV and AIDS alive and well, include strengthening families and communities for prevention, care and support, increasing the effectiveness of the programmes and services available to those families, and also upholding human rights of the most vulnerable children so that the marginalized or those who are being missed by current services are being reached."

duration: 37″

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